Sunday, March 25, 2012
In the first grade. I started young.
How could this sweet little girl who was soooo excited to get to go to kindergarten could, in only a year, become a recalcitrant first grader?
I can truthfully say that I was raised to honor, not only my parents, but also any adults and especially teachers. My grandmother on my momma's side was a teacher, my mom went to college and was qualified to teach. My mother and father both truly felt it was very important for all of us kids to get an education so we could better ourselves... to be successful, fulfilled human beings.
What can I say... my parents also taught us to be truthful. Where I missed the boat was the lesson on WHEN I was supposed to be truthful.
First grade... Miss Bartlett, the teacher.
I'll rat myself out on the line-up... back row, fifth from the right. That smiling, happy girl with the center part and hair up in braids.
School lunch. To tell the truth or not to tell the truth.
I'll now plead my case... Sixty years (approximately) after the rebellion.
Some of the time all us kids ate in the school cafeteria. For those of you, dear readers that are younger, you may wonder what's the big deal. For those my age you know that cafeteria food was way different back in the olden days. To say that the food was only a step above hospital food back then may be construed as exaggerated but I digress. I got my tray of cafeteria food for my lunch. I honestly do not remember anything that was on my tray other than.... drum roll...
Mixed carrots and peas. The cause of my standing up to authority. Saying no to my teacher. As the kids say nowdays... MY BAD!!!
I had eaten everything on my tray except the carrots and peas. Miss Bartlett, doing her teacherly duty and patrolling the cafeteria, saw this criminal headed to the trash bin to empty the tray before going out to lunch recess and stopped me in my tracks. "You need to eat your carrots and peas, not put them in the trash." I, in all my innocence, looked up at my teacher and said, "My momma doesn't make me eat peas and carrots." Miss Bartlett drew herself up and said 'we' will not be going out to recess until you eat your peas and carrots...
This child loved recess almost as much as going to school and learning new things. This child and her teacher sat in the cafeteria looking at that tray with those miserable peas and carrots on it until it was time to go to afternoon classes.
I don't remember getting in trouble for being defiant to my teacher but I'm sure that I got a stern talking to about the whole situation. My parents never forced us kids to eat anything. They urged us to try any food that mom put on the table but if we didn't like it we didn't have to eat it or try to eat it the next time mom cooked it. I imagine that I probably related the story to my parents honestly and was probably told that I should have tried to eat my peas and carrots but since I told the truth to the teacher it was okay but don't let it happen again. I am pretty sure I would have remembered if I had gotten a spanking for being rebellious child. I remember most of the spankings I got in my life and I don't think I got whopped for this instance but it has been, OMG, over sixty years ago and I have slept since then.
And to this day I don't like peas and/or carrots alone, much less mixed together. I can eat carrots in carrot cake and a few cooked in with a roast but don't expect me to eat peas... except in fake guacamole. And that's the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Amen.